Nantes – Racial Memory, Disquietude & Rememberance (Part 1)
In preparing for my journey of self-discovery, I pack spiritual provisions that I will need along the way. The virtues and values I bring give me courage and strength–and are a spiritual blessing to those I encounter on my adventure. [Joseph Dispenza, The Way of the Traveler]
Travel Journal Entry 9/12/10
Yesterday I spent my off (work) day exploring the historical sights of Nantes, France including a very well maintained chateau with full access to the interior and grounds. The Castle of the Dukes of Brittany is the last of the Loire Châteaux before the Atlantic Ocean. I thoroughly enjoyed walking along the ramparts, peering below into the moat and going in and out of the structure. I was “Dora the Explorer”! Afterwards I took an evening stroll along the waterfront and saw two ships one a vintage multi-masked wooden ship and the other a contemporary military battle ship complete with BIG guns and missiles.
Despite all my best intention to just be a tourist, an imaginary princess in a castle or a seafaring traveler something kept impeding my enjoyment and I couldn’t quite put my finger on it until I passed billboard that contained the phrase L’Atlantique. In that moment I realized the disquiet in my body was in fact RACIAL MEMORY. It was an encrypted message from the ancestors to remember the souls who perished in L’Atantique.
Shortly after I left the castle I went to the tram stop to wait for my ride to the hotel. I spotted a nice looking dred brother eyeing me. Fortunately our reticence gave way to friendly introductions and conversation. L. spoke to with an urgency that foretold the experience I was about to have at the slave memorial wall. He informed me of the cultural and healing work undertaken in Nantes to heal the racial schism historical and contemporary. He invited me to visit a local cultural center and to meet individuals involved in the memorial project.
The ancestral spirits in Nantes seek acknowledgement, tribute and remembrance. Once I came correct with a silent prayer the disquiet gave way to a pleasant evening and sound sleep.
On my return visit to the castle I met up with two individuals from the EAIE conference who’d come out for a bit of sightseeing too. I recognized the fellow from a past conference of international educator. The man is from Bostwana the woman from Finland by way of Nambia. Also noticed other African visitors on the chateau grounds particurlarly a family enjoying the shade of an exhibit stand left over from a recent Chinese celebration. My conference associates did not hestiate to join me paying tribute to ancestors known and unknown. Indeed, they were delighted to do so hence our energetic photos. I also like the image of the futbol and man.
Honor and praises.
Castles & Culture Carriers